05 June 2008


"Somebody's Gotta Win, Somebody's Gotta Lose" by The Controllers which clocks in at 8:03

Matt and I made a bet. It is not without precedent, but more on that in a bit.

First, the good news. After what's felt like a solid five to seven months of playoff basketball, the NBA Finals commence TONIGHT. "Ho hum," you may say - or probably something less Grimms Fairy Tales-ish and more like "Who effing cares?" - but before your jock-averse eyes glaze over, consider the following:

The 2008 NBA Finals is a matchup of the two most storied franchises in professional basketball history, The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

FACT: Boston and L.A. have faced each other in the NBA Finals a total of 10 times, with Boston winning the first eight meetings and L.A. the most recent two. This last matchup occurred twenty-one years ago (1986-87). That's over two decades of anticipation (at least for Boston fans).

FACT: The Celtics and Lakers lead all NBA franchises with the most championships; Boston has 16 and L.A. has 14.

FACT: L.A.'s head coach Phil Jackson is one championship away from becoming the coach with the most titles in NBA history. Who would he surpass if L.A. wins? Deceased Boston coaching legend and Celtics' guardian angel Red Auerbach. Jackson and Auerbach are currently tied with nine championships each.

FACT: The 2008 iteration of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry features the league's best defense (Boston) facing off against the league's best offense (L.A.).

CONJECTURE: This year's Finals could potentially save the NBA and reestablish a level of prominence it hasn't enjoyed since before Michael Jordan retired. Marred by ever-dwindling television ratings, culminating with a record-low 6.2 rating for last year's Spurs-Cavaliers Finals, the excitement and glamour implicit in the Boston-L.A. matchup are expected to bring professional basketball back to a mass market and boost ratings considerably.

FACT: I am a lifelong Celtics fan; Matt has been an unapologetic Kobe Bryant fanatic since he first came into the league 12 years ago (and thus Lakers fan by default). And similar to the Gallagher brothers, such conflict only makes us stronger. This is why we came up with a friendly wager. It's very simple: somebody's gotta win, somebody's gotta lose....

It's not so much that the winner gains anything, unless you want to categorize witnessing the loser suffering for seven days as a "gain" (which I'm totally cool with). For those who don't know how the playoffs work, it's a best of seven series - meaning there will be at least four games and at most seven to decide the 2008 champion. And so, the morning after the deciding game, the loser will have to march into the sporting goods retailer of his choice and purchase a baseball cap with the opposing team's logo on it (to clarify, I would have to wear a gaudy purple and yellow Lakers hat and Matt would get to wear an awesome green Celtics cap).

Following this shameful act, the loser will have to wear said cap for the following SEVEN days whenever he dares show himself in public, whenever in proximity of the winner, and whenever in a group of three or more (this final proviso means if such numbers occur in the privacy of his home, tough noogies, the hat must go on).

Additionally, we recognize the increased role of the Internet in our daily lives and are all in favor of harnessing the power of social-networking sites to maximize the loser's humiliation. As such, the loser will also have to use the opposing team's logo as his profile picture on both his MySpace and Facebook accounts throughout this seven-day period.

Finally, the loser will have to read and subsequently write an EAR FARM "book report" on a text of the winner's choice, however tangentially related to music the winner sees fits. Matt has just informed me he has already picked out his choice for me. I'm undecided about my selection but am leaning towards something Boston-related, maybe this?

The superstitious among you may think I'm jinxing the Celtics by indirectly betting on them (if we can define betting here by wagering not to be humiliated), and former Mike would have probably agreed with you. However, this was before two incidents shaped my current position:

First Incident, 2004. Matt and I make a similar wager to the one laid out above (without the social networking and book report caveats) for Super Bowl XXXVIII. My beloved Patriots beat his wretched Panthers and I experience the distinct joy of watching him wear a Patriots hat for a week straight. Lesson learned: it appears supersititions are dumb; not only did my betting have zero effect on the outcome of the game, but humiliating your friends is fun.

Second Incident, 2008. I refuse to make any sort of wagers on Super Bowl XLII, still perhaps slightly cautious of creating bad karma for the undefeated squad. They lose the game and destroy their perfect season. Lesson learned: the Patriots do not care about how I choose to live my life.

So here we now stand, heads unadorned and social networking profiles unmolested. Game one is tonight, with the potential of six more to follow. Somebody's gotta win, and well, somebody's gotta lose....

*above photo courtesy of Matt's photoshopping skills and inspired by the NBA's There Can Only Be One campaign

Buy In Control on Amazon.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
Islands - "Bucky Little Wing"
Grandaddy - "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot"
Broken Social Scene - "Backyards"
Oingo Boingo - "Change"
Count Basie - "Blues For The Barbecue"
The Besnard Lakes - "You've Got to Want to Be a Star"
M83 - "Couleurs"
David Byrne - "Happy Suicide"

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.


Anonymous said...

just ran across this article. pretty funny and is kinda similar in spirit-

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What an awesome game that was last night. Matt - get ready to don the Celts get-up!!

Mike said...

absolutely unreal. pierce flexed shades of willis reed, the standing ovation, i had chills. wow

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darkhung said...

I am glad oyu enjoyed yourself at the convention. I am sorry your Bavarians was handled so roughly their first time on a table. However as a side joke of the story when the unit was rode down they where placed by the registration table. There was at least ten people that asked if they where for sale after that. The Bavarians really look nice.
Quail West Naples Florida

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simson11 said...

I can say your painting is far from crap if these are the results you produce! I'd be more than happy with that standard of painting. Thanks also for the tip of using a dark green-gray as a highlight for black. I will try it. I find a sand/buff color useful for red highlights.
Quail West Naples Florida

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